City Of Blaine Wa Is America's Peace Arch City
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Blaine Washington - America's Peace Arch City

Blaine Washington is in the Northwest corner of Washington State situated 110 miles north of Seattle and about 35 miles south of Vancouver B.C. right on the US/Canadian border.

Blaine Wa was established in the mid 19th century as a seaport for the fishing and logging industries and was once home to one of the world's largest salmon canneries processing and packing salmon under many brand names. Today Blaine is a peaceful waterfront community best known for its Peace Arch Park and border crossing into British Columbia Canada. Blaine and is the kind of small town Angela Lansbury might choose to live in, only without all the murders. Blaine is a quaint, clean and relatively safe city with a low crime rate, perhaps due in part to the many border and homeland security personnel living in the city. Of course Blaine does make headlines from time to time with the occasional border related incident which tends to make national or international news.

 

Peace Arch Portal To Blaine Bargains

Blaine Washington is a popular destination for Canadian shoppers who "Pop" over the border to fill up their car's gas tank and stock up on Milk, Cheese, Eggs, and other everyday household products. Recent parity of the US/Canadian dollars has resulted in crowds of Canadian weekend shoppers , but it is more than price that lures Canadians to area shops and stores. Ask any Canadian why they shop in Blaine, or nearby Bellingham and they are likely to tell you it is due to the great selection of products, many of which are not available in Canada and of course there is no Harmony Tax on U.S. products either which makes shopping in the U.S. an even greater value for Canadian shoppers.

Blaine Washington's Peace Arch State Park Is A Great Place To Visit While On Your Way To Canada B.C.Blaine Washington Peace Arch International Park & Border Crossing

The Peace Arch Border Crossing into British Columbia is part tourist attraction and part formal doorway to/from the U.S. and Canada. While not as prominent as the Brandenburg Gate or the North Korean border crossing it serves the same purpose. Blaine's Peace Arch Border Crossing gives you the unique experience and thrill of wandering over and back across the invisible political line that defines who you are, and what you can and can't do.

Gunnera Manicata Plants Are A Huge Leaved Plant In The Rhubarb FamilyBlaine's Peace Arch International Park is a 40 acre expanse of manicured lawns contoured with beds of vibrant colorful flowers and dotted with unique and sometimes perplexing sculptures. One must-see on the American side of the Peace Arch Park is the Giant Gunnera Manicata plant with its massive 5 foot leaves. Standing alongside this monster rhubarb plant may remind you of the flesh eating plant in "The Little Shop Of Horrors" movie/Broadway play.

"What in the name of Sam Hill is that supposed to be?" The star attraction is the 67 ft high Peace Arch itself, built in 1914. This giant white monument was championed by famed Washington millionaire Samuel Hill, whose other projects included the replica of Stonehenge in Maryhill Washington. While the Sam Hill euphemism isn't referring to this Samuel Hill there are some people that are convinced otherwise.

 Blaine Washington Peach Arch Gate And SloganPeace Arch Park & Majestic Gate

The Peace Arch International Park and border crossing is home to a large concrete arch monument straddling the border between the United States and Canada to commemorate peace and cooperation between our two great nations. Visitors can explore the park's 40+ acres free of charge and you can walk around on both the Canadian and U.S. sides but you cannot continue any further into the other country without going through the proper entry screening--yes they are watching.

The Peace Arch was completed on Sept. 6, 1921 and features two iron gates in the open position with the following  inscriptions.  "May These Gates Never Be Closed"   (However, Just to be certain the gates are never closed, both gates are actually bolted in the open position.)

The main arch features a different inscription on each side.

  • On the American Side : "Children Of A Common Mother"

  • On the Canadian Side : "Brethren Dwelling Together In Unity"

Getting To Blaine Washington

The Peace Arch State Park and Border Crossing is located where the Northern end of I-5 freeway in Washington meets the Southern end of highway 99 out of British Columbia at the Canadian Douglas Border Crossing. When traveling north to Blaine take exit #276 just before the border and turn right/east and follow the signs.

When approaching the city of Blaine north on I-5 you have the choice of exiting to the truck border crossing or you can simply continue north to the Peach Arch crossing. The second border crossing was recently expanded to handle the larger traffic load during the Vancouver Olympics. Today the border crossing is used primarily by trucks, and high profile vehicles. Locals call it the Blaine Truck Crossing but it's official name is the "Pacific Border Crossing" and as you can imagine there are plenty of big rigs lined up to cross into Canada and it stays busy pretty much 24 hours a day.

Crossing The US/Canadian Border Can Be Easy And Stress Free As Long As You Adhere To Some Simple Rules And RegulationsRestricted And Prohibited Items At The Border

To use the Peace Arch Border Crossing you must have a passport or another form of document that proves your citizenship. Here is a list of some of the items that are currently restricted or prohibited. Haitian Animal Hide drums have been linked to cases of anthrax, Dog & Cat fur is prohibited, and Gold from the Sudan is a No-Go. The basic rule of thumb is, if it dangerous or expensive don't bring it.

Alcoholic Wine And Spirits Can Be Purchased At Reduced Prices In Duty Free Stores At The BorderDeclare items such as items you intend to sell, items you bought in the Duty Free Shop, and and be sure to play by the rules and your border crossing should be smooth and pleasurable and always be respectful and courteous to the Border Crossing Guards--They don't have to let you through.  

Duty Free Shops

Shop the Duty Free Shops on either the American or Canadian side of the border and save on fun and vice items like Liquor, Wine, Beer, Cigarettes, Gifts, Watches, Chocolates, Cosmetics, and Souvenir Items.

As of June 1st, 2012 Canada's duty free allowances have been liberalized. Allowances are $800 over 48 hours and $200 over 24 hours in the U.S.  Canadians staying in the U.S. more than 48 hours are allowed 200 cigarettes, 200 grams of manufactured tobacco, 1.5 Litres of wine or 1.75 Litres of liquor or 24 355 ml cans/bottles of beer or ale. Check U.S. or Canadian customs websites for more information and current allowances.

Blaine Marine Park Next To Harbor - Blaine Washington Things To Do In Blaine Washington

Blaine is a great family friendly place to spend an afternoon. Here are just a few ideas.

  • Stroll along the Marina and waterfront and pose with the life-sized Orca statues
  • Go fishing or crabbing on Blaine's FREE city pier
  • Relax on the waterfront and watch wealthy people come and go on their sailing boats and motor yachts. Try waving at them. They'll often wave back.
  • Enjoy a picnic or BBQ in one of the oceanfront park shelters and Pose for a photo with Blaine's famous Killer Whale sculptures.
  • Feed Blaine's friendly resident seagulls and watch their amazing areal acrobatics and antics-But watch out for the pooping dive bombers!
  • Stroll the downtown waterfront and browse the quaint shops and galleries
  • Ride the historic Plover ferry boat built in 1944, from Drayton Harbor across the bay entrance to Semiamoo (May To September).
  • Tour the World Famous Peace Arch Border Crossing Park and experience the thrill rush of stepping into a foreign country then back again, then step back over again.
  • Gas up your car in one of Blaine's friendly gas-marts and stock up on groceries and everyday items area Grocery Supermarkets.
  • Shop the Duty Free stores and save on alcohol, perfume, cigarettes and more
On your next visit be sure to stop into the Blaine Visitor Center for information about area events and activities, maps, brochures and other guides. Also look for savings coupons for Blaine and Bellingham Wa area businesses, stores, and restaurants. 
Blaine Washington Visitor Center

728 Peace Portal Drive
Blaine, WA 98230
Phone (360) 332-4544
Toll Free: (800) 624-5555
 Shopping In Blaine Washington Is Convenient And Easy With Ample Parking

Blaine WA Grocery Stores

The largest Supermarket/Grocery Store in Blaine is the giant Costcutter store with a full service bakery, deli, and meat department.

1733 H Street #100. (Phone 360 332-5909) Open Daily 7 a.m. to Midnight  You can often purchase dairy, cheese and other foods often at a fraction of the cost back in B.C.

There are also a beautiful new Market Grocery Store just a few exits south in the recently renovated Birch Bay shopping center. The center is also home to a new Bob's Burger & Brew restaurant, Jack In The Box. 

Dining Out In Blaine

After an afternoon of exploring the Peace Arch border park and shopping, Blaine is also a nice place for a relaxing lunch or dinner in one of its many restaurants serving American, Mexican, Thai, And the other favorite fast food outlets like Burger King and Subway. 

The recently remodeled Birch Bay shopping center on Interstate 5 is more appealing than ever and is a great place for a casual lunch at Jack-In-The-Box or the food court area of the Market store or try the new Bob's Burger & Brew, a local favorite.  

 
Photo - Downtown Blaine Washington

James G. Blaine

Blaine Washington is named after U.S. Senator from Maine, James G. Blaine a Republican who served as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and twice as secretary of state. Blaine was also a candidate for president in 1884 but lost to Grover Cleveland. In 1858 during the surveying of surrounding areas for the U.S. Government, there were two small towns both called Semiahmoo, one on the mainland and the other across the bay where what is now called Semiahmoo. In 1884 the town that is now modern day Blaine was named Concord but townspeople were big supporters of James Blaine so they decided to name the city Blaine.

 Blaine Washington has other features of a border town including duty free shop, convenience stores, and large gas stations popular with Canadian visitors in search of bargain gas before continuing northward. The continued redevelopment of Blaine's downtown and the expansion of the Blaine marina have made the area very popular with retirees and families in search of a quaint small town atmosphere to raise their children or to retire. The waterfront is beautiful to look at and it does have some of the warmest water temperatures in Puget Sound.  The Bay is an important migratory stop for numerous bird species. 

Blaine Washington Real Estate - Harbor PhotoRemnants Of Blaine's Past 

Looking out over the bay at Blaine's marine park you may notice old posts and pilings sticking out of the water. These were once the support posts and pilings for a large waterfront lumber mill that supplied much of the lumber that rebuilt San Francisco after the great fire. Next to the lumber mill was a giant fish cannery, one of several during Blaine's logging and fishing heyday. In 1897 the city's population peaked to about four times its current size.

The site of the old lumber mill and cannery is now Blaine's popular waterfront marine park. As you stroll along the beautiful pathway and surroundings you may find it hard to imagine that this was also once Blaine's garbage dump and the entire peninsula is a man made landfill. On occasion major storms washed away portions of the landfill creating a cleanup mess for Blaine and White Rock residents so eventually the landfill was closed and the land mass was fortified to prevent further erosion. Marine drive which extends out the peninsula to the city pier has been refinished a number of times over the years. When the old Warf area was filled in they didn't remove the posts and pilings which are now rotting out below sometimes causing a bumpy roadway surface.

Semiahmoo  Resort Blaine Wa

Just across the entrance to Drayton harbor from the Blaine marina is the resort/golf community of Semiahmoo with its own full service marina, hiking trails and miles of sandy beaches overlooking beautiful Puget Sound. The Semiahmoo Golf And Country Club features an Arnold Palmer designed golf course, driving range, as well as both men's and women's locker rooms with showers. The views of Mt. Baker along the Semiahmoo spit are spectacular and the exquisite homes nestled along Semiahmoo's waterfront and golf course are a must-see for anyone interested in premium northwest properties.   

Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club
8720 Semiahmoo Parkway
Blaine, WA  98230
(360) 371-7015

Contact Directory

City Of Blaine Washington "City Hall"
435 Martin
Blaine, Wa 98230
Phone (360) 332-8311
Fax: (360) 332-8330
Blaine Marina
700 Slip Marina
235 Marine Drive
Blaine, WA 98230
(360) 647-6176
PacCan Duty Free Shop
On American Side
4 12th Street
Blaine, WA 98230
(360) 332-6020
Peace Arch Duty Free
On Canadian Side
255 Highway 99
Surrey, B.C. V3S 9N7
(604) 278-1679
Opens 7 A.M. Daily
Dollar Tree Dollar Store
1733 H Street #600
Blaine, WA 98230
(360) 332-2595
Yes, Everything's a U.S. Dollar or less
         

Mount Baker Ski Area Is Bellingham Washington's Winter PlaygroundBlaine Real Estate

Real Estate is popular with many Canadians due to its proximity to Vancouver and southern British Columbia and home prices are downright bargain compared to B.C. Real Estate, especially with the recent parity of the US and Canadian Dollars. If you are a Canadian interested in investing in Blaine Real Estate you are not alone. As many as 30% of recent home sales have been to Canadian buyers. There are several real estate agencies available to assist you in searching for and purchasing area properties.

A New Blaine Emerges

There are a number of exciting developments in the planning stage for Blaine's downtown area,  including new specialty shops, restaurants,  and a unique boardwalk Along a portion of Peace Portal Drive. Once completed it will offer it's visitors panoramic views of Drayton Harbor, Puget Sound, and White Rock, B.C. Blaine's  downtown waterfront rests on a small bluff of land offering visitors a great view  the area's spectacular sunsets.

With the completion of the new boardwalk project, area residents will have a very special place to shop, dine, or just stroll along the waterfront as the sun sets over Vancouver Island. Several small condominium complexes have recently sprung up in the downtown area giving its residents the same beautiful harbor views and everything Blaine has to offer is either right outside their doorstep or within easy walking distance. Overall Blaine is a clean, friendly, and safe town that is proud of its unique geography and its prominence among U.S./Canadian Border Crossings.

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Blaine Marine Park - View Of Whiterock British Columbia - Blaine Washington Downtown Blaine Washington Is Located On A Bluff Overlooking Puget Sound Offering Beautiful Sunset ViewsBlaine Marine Park

Situated on the narrow peninsula of land protecting Blaine's harbor & marina is the beautiful Blaine Marine Park. This scenic park and greenbelt has a winding trail that weaves its way around the Orca sculpture park, outdoor amphitheatre, and there are several benches and covered picnic shelters that  can be reserved for special events. 

Take a peek through the telescope for a close-up view of White Rock B.C. residents going about their daily lives in their little houses overlooking the bay. Scan the coastline carefully to get a glimpse of the big "White Rock" sitting on the beach in which the city was named after. On a clear day you may also see happy Canadians sunning themselves on the beach and you just might see one of them looking back at you. Blaine's Marine Park is also a great place to enjoy 4th of July fireworks and a picnic. Bring the whole family and your flags, and for the best spot you need to come plenty early because this tends to be a very popular yearly event drawing both locals and residents from all over Whatcom County.

Fresh Seafood & Sailboats

The Blaine harbor marina is home to numerous sailboats and motor yachts but it is also home to a large fleet of commercial fishing boats. Some individual fishermen sell their fresh catch right off of their boats-- Assorted Fresh Fish, Salmon, Shrimp, Delicious Dungeness Crab, you never know what what the catch of the day might be. Many of these professional fishermen make regular trips to Alaska to catch fresh salmon and they are happy give you advice on how to prepare their fresh catch.

Zip Codes For Blaine Wa 98230 & 9823  Population: Approximately 5000 Residents

Stuff To Do In Blaine Washington Including The Peace Arch State Park And Marine Park 

Shopping Guide To Bellingham Washington Area Stores And Shopping Areas 
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